BY NICKI JURINA
From the Feminist Majority Foundation's "blog carnival," you read stories of women who have capitalized on their "right" to choose to have an abortion. Woven within the notes of feeling proud to have the right to choose, hidden beneath the message of being in control of their lives and their futures by choosing to abort what many abortion industries simply call the "product of conception," is their recount of the feelings of emptiness and mourning. The fear, the guilt, the depression, and many more emotions seep into their being following the procedure. Many describe the experience as a routine procedure: a meeting with a "counselor" who has a pre-determined and written response to every question, every concern . . . this isn't a counselor; a counselor is an individual who meets the individual where they are and does not sway them to make a choice and is there to support them no matter what they choose. After the meeting with the counselor, they enter through the doors, the procedure is performed and they are sent on their way as if nothing had happened. Many walk into these situations believing that they will walk out feeling "free" and unburdened, but for many women the feeling of freedom has been ripped from their being, and they are left with a myriad of different feelings and experiences. They don't expect to feel the way they feel because they are never told. And the woman is not the only individual to have these feelings or experiences. There is more than one victim: there is of course also the dead child, (if he was involved) the father, and whom with the mother has the affect of branching out to the immediate family members. The list of victims of abortion involves many more than you might originally think.
So what exactly are experiences that are unknown or unexpected by women who choose to have an abortion? The American Pregnancy Association released a document that describes the emotional/psychological effects of having an abortion:
The following is a list of potential emotional and psychological side effects of an abortion. The intensity or duration of these effects will vary from one person to another. Potential side effects include:
• Guilty feelings
• Sense of loneliness or isolation
• Loss of self confidence
• Insomnia or nightmares
• Relationship issues
• Suicidal thoughts and feelings
• Eating disorders
It is possible for anyone to experience an unexpected emotional or psychological side effect following an abortion. Women commonly report that the abortion procedure affected them more than they expected. However, some individuals are more susceptible to experiencing some type of emotional or psychological struggle. Women with a higher probability of having a negative emotional or psychological side effect include:
• Individuals with previous emotional or psychological issues
• Individuals who have been coerced, forced or persuaded to get an abortion
• Individuals with religious beliefs that conflict with abortion
• Individuals with moral or ethical views that conflict with abortion
• Individuals who obtain an abortion in the later stages of pregnancy
• Individuals without support from significant others or their partner
• Women obtaining an abortion for genetic or fetal abnormalities
The woman has the "right to choose" what her actions are; emotional and psychological trauma happen because we are human beings; we are emotional, physical, psychological, social, environmental, and spiritual beings. Our reactions in any of these areas are not chosen. You can choose an action; you can't possibly choose every single consequence in the outcome.
Why does abortion matter? Because it extinguishes the life of a living human being. Nearly every post from the Feminist Majority Foundation's "blog carnival" that discusses an abortion experience talks about it with both a seeming full knowledge that their abortion killed their own child, with sadness and mourning -- yet they simultaneously champion this choice and make light of it by calling their event a "carnival." You can't have it both ways -- if abortion is like getting wisdom teeth pulled, then there is no reason whatsoever for women to be even a little bit sad about having their abortion. But if they are mournful, regretful even -- then this experience at least lends itself to having a discussion about the very real truth that abortion does kill a human being.
If you are suffering from a past abortion and want help, please look into: